Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another High Corn Field


On Friday, it rained. I spent part of day looking in a mirror. I am too old to be like the young Rembrandt though I seem to have imitated one of his head poses. And the corn fields keep my fascination.

I just finished reading Fairfield Porter: A Life in Art by Justin Spring. He recognizes on the last page that his book doesn't do justice to the complexity of Porter in terms of his writings and paintings. The book does establish that Anne Porter, wife to Fairfield Porter, was a saint for all that she had to put up with. My google search indicates that she was 95 in 2006 when she published her book Living Things: Collected Poems. Fairfield Porter died in 1975.

A couple of amusing quotes from the book:

"...Porter quoted his favorite story about Mallarme, related by Paul Valery to Stravinsky, who had included it in his autobiography:"Degas, who, as is well known, liked to dabble in poetry, one day said to Mallarme: 'I cannot manage the end of my sonnet, and it is not that I am wanting in ideas.' Mallarme, softly: 'It is not with ideas that one makes sonnets, but with words.'"

Porter spent his last summer painting with watercolors. He wrote that watercolor "is roughly to oil what the harpsichord is to the piano. Except I like the harpsichord better than watercolor, and oil better than the piano."

3 comments:

One Step Away said...

Since reading one of your earlier posts referring to Fairfield Porter I picked up his book, Art In its Own Terms. Lots of great commentary in that book. Recommend it.

Donna T said...

You do amazing things with cornfields, Bob. Somehow you are able to organize all of that chaos and show the beautiful patterns that exist. Nice portrait too - I would recognize you on the street!

Bob Lafond said...

Steve, That's the next book I intend to read.

Donna, Thanks. Organizing faces and corn fields are related activities.